Death at Sea - but was there a burial on land?

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steveflan
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Joined: 01 Feb 2014 17:11

Death at Sea - but was there a burial on land?

Post by steveflan » 15 Oct 2019 20:09

My Great Grandfather, Walter Henry Flanagan, was born and raised in Liverpool but had a career as a Marine Fireman (a boiler stoker on board ship) and traveled to many far flung places during his life.

I couldn't find a death record for him in the GRO Death Indexes, however, I did find a potential entry in the Overseas Deaths indexes and, biting the bullet, sent off for the relevant certificate. Luckily enough this entry was for my Great Grandfather.

He died at sea aboard the SS Hesperia, with his cause of death given as "Apparently some type of malaria." along with the ship's co-ordinates at the time of his death. These co-ordinates placed the ship in the Andaman Sea off the west coast of Thailand.

This now begs the question as to where Walter Henry was buried. Would it have been at sea, in Malaysia or would his body had been stored on board and buried back in Liverpool? Was there a set procedure for malaria victims?

I would be most grateful of any pointers.

Many thanks in advance

Steve
Researching FLANAGAN, BLAIR, COLERIDGE, HOLDEN & HUMPHREYS
Member # 8595

Bertieone
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Joined: 17 Sep 2012 11:19

Re: Death at Sea - but was there a burial on land?

Post by Bertieone » 16 Oct 2019 07:12

Hi Steve,

I assume this was 1925?


Malaria is non-contagious, so that wouldn't cause a problem, the only concern would be the natural deterioration of the body which I'm sure measures aboard a ship could be taken to help with that.

I would first look for a burial here at home, even if the ship was outward bound I've read of bodies being transferred to homeward bound ships for repatriation. Failing to find a burial here, you will need to know the ships next port of call near to the time of death.

Then investigate the nearest cemetery or British cemetery there might be.

Trying to search through the fog of ships names, I think the SS Hesperia was formally the Patria (2) and a passenger/cargo ship, might upset the fare paying passengers to see a burial at sea?
Bert

steveflan
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Posts: 131
Joined: 01 Feb 2014 17:11

Re: Death at Sea - but was there a burial on land?

Post by steveflan » 16 Oct 2019 20:54

Bertieone

Many thanks for the reply. Yes it was 1925. Also,many thanks for the pointers, gives me an idea of a possible path of research - much appreciated.

Steve
Researching FLANAGAN, BLAIR, COLERIDGE, HOLDEN & HUMPHREYS
Member # 8595

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